Wednesday, November 30, 2016

First Scene, Auckland.

I went on a tour to First Scene, New Zealand Australian' largest selection and party props with 400,000 items in stock. I tried to see if I will make a good policewoman.

An outing to First Scene.

If you're looking to host a themed party or require prop's, fancy dress or colour to spruce up your event... I suggest you make a trip out West. This is the biggest warehouse . Aotearoa's largest selection of costume and party props with 400,000 items in stock.

The ESOL School of Mt Albert Baptist went on an outing to First Scene.

First Scene

When we were planning this trip, I was writing my The Playgroup Club. I incorporated First Scene in a chapter of the book. Becky and Amber went to First Scene to rent costumes for a Great Gatsby era them. Here is a student admiring a flapper dress. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Real Playgroup Mums and kids

The Mt Albert Playgroup was at the Christmas in Rocket Park.  This is the face o
f my book, The Playgroup Club.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Falls restaurant in Henderson.

This is Falls restaurant in Henderson. It is a very picturesque place from the photo.

It looks like the fictional B&B I have written in my Book, The Playgroup Club. I imagine the High teas and weddings I have described. . May be I visited it in my dream.

Finally, they arrived at their destination. It was a beautiful wooden double storey structure with white ornate balustrades all around the building. There was a massive manicured garden.

Susan was both impressed and envious with Kylie, “Lucky Cow!”
“Now, Susan, mind your language, we have little children.” Reminded Mary.
          “Sorry Mary, ‘B&B by the sea.’ Wow! Never in a million years did I think I would be having morning tea in such a posh place by the sea. This is a mansion.  

They returned to the B&B again. Fatimah set tables on the veranda. She placed white table cloth complete with white cloth napkins in the silver napkin rings. The petite sandwiches, sponge cakes and scones, some in tiered platters, were beautiful to look at. She picked long stemmed pink tulips which gave off a fragrant scent and freshened the table. The tables looked like a page in a house and garden magazine. There were four tea pots to serve four kinds of tea. They had the elegance of a traditional high tea.

The Falls is the only still standing wooden hotel from 1853 in the whole New Zealand which is being used as a Restaurant.

 The Falls Restaurant is an iconic events venue in Henderson famous for weddings, corporate functions, casual breakfast, lunch & formal dinner service.

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Bouncy castle at Christmas in Rocket park2016

Bouncy castles, a hit with children

Mt Albert Chrisrtmas in Rocket Park 2016

The Spanish Paella came to feed the party goers The Mt Albert Baptist Church Christmas in Rocket Park 2016.

Our World Tuesday Graphic

Grace's ginger bread house part 2

This is Grace's secret recipe:

The kids don't like ginger, so I omitted ginger and the other spices in the recipe. But the molasses was overpowering, it has a burnt or bbq smell which turned everyone off while we were mixing the dough.

So I added nutmeg, cinammon and cloves (I had to pound myself). Don't have any ginger powder and cardoman. The spices improved the fragrance. Michael broke a piece of his roof to eat. After that, the kids only ate the sweets and I had to throw the houses away.

Next time, I will make use chocolate.

We only bake food that's eggless for Angelina's sake, even the icing was eggless and it was hard to pipe for the kids.

Deb knows that it gets difficult when it comes to making stuff with the kids. She helped the kids decorate the cookies.

Love Grace

Comment from Australia:

We usually buy ginger house kit. Kids only like to eat the sugary icing and lollies on the cake. Can we have your recipe.
Looks yummy.

Another comment from Oz to Grace:
These photos are fantastic – so good to see this generation of mothers still want to do things like this with their kids. They must have inherited your flair for creativity. It’s a wonderful way to have some fun together. You’ve done a great job. Trouble is, when so much work has gone into creating them, you can’t bring yourself to eat them. Did your kids eat theirs?

My girls still talk about the wonderful cakes that Aunty Grace used to bake for their birthdays when they were small.

***Last year, my home group at church won the competition of protraying how different countries celebrated Christmas round the world. C made the winning prizes of beautiful Christmas cakes like an alpine house complete with Santa stuck in the chimney. She wanted to give 1/2 of the cake to me. Before I could stop her, she had cut the cake into half. I told her the cake was too pretty to eat, and it was such a heartachne to have it cut. I would rather the other winner take the whole cake home. C said, cakes are meant to be eaten. Each time I ate the cake, I choked.*

My Sis Grace making her gingerbread house

What an excellent way to bond with children. My sister Grace makes pinata, bakes cookies and cakes.

Grace is emulating the way Mother brought us up. During the Chinese New Year, Mother would make cakes, cakes and more cakes. She didn't have an electrical mixer. The beater she had was a big spring attached to a broom like stick. We all took turns to beat the one hundred eggs. We learned from a hands on lesson on baking, and co-operation. Mother distributed her cakes to her sisters and Grandma.

Mother's cake was the best cake I have ever eaten. They were baked in her own fashioned charcoal oven.

Merry Christmas from some very generous people.

I was interested in the real estate tent, in this case, The Goodwins.  They had a gingerbread house for a lucky draw, and free cupcakes made by one of the man.

I had a camera mal-function, and I can't show you the cupcakes and Wesley who made them.The Cupcakefairy.

In The Playgroup Club book, I have a real estate agent.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

New Zealand Christmas tree

As a NZ book, The Playgroup Club inevitably has a mention of the Pohutukawa tree, or the NZ Christmas tree.
Pohutukawa and rata are known as New Zealand’s native Christmas tree because of the bright red blooms which decorate the trees during the Christmas season. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Andrew's sisters.

Double bed has taken a whole real meaning.

In Auckland, the kids played hours in this cradle or as my American friend S says, crib. her daughter liked it so much so I gave it to her, as Sam didn't want to play with dolls.

Deb and Gab were this age when we lost Andrew

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

eBook: The Playgroup Club

Draft2Digital Support
Today at 6:45
Your book The Playgroup Club
is now published to and can be viewed here.

Books2Read Universal Link:

All sales channels for this book:
24 Symbols - Published on Nov. 15, 2016, 11:44 a.m.
Apple - Published on Nov. 9, 2016, 7:06 p.m.
Barnes & Noble - Published on Nov. 10, 2016, 4:20 p.m.
Kobo - Published on Nov. 9, 2016, 8:10 p.m.
Page Foundry - Published on Nov. 9, 2016, 5:07 p.m.
Scribd - Submitted to Distributor on Nov. 9, 2016, 3:40 p.m.
Tolino - Published on Nov. 10, 2016, 5 a.m.
The Playgroup Club by ann chin

The Playgroup Club: Mothers and babies, toddlers, preschoolers

Nov 8, 2016 | Kindle eBook
by Samuel Chin and Ann Chin
Auto-delivered wirelessly
Borrow for free from your Kindle device.Join Amazon Prime
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Monday, November 14, 2016

writes for tripadvisor.

I wrote myself in as a cameo role in my new book The Playgroup Club.

Ann, you've attracted quite an audience
Today at 16:16
You've helped so many travellers plan their perfect trips. Keep it up.
Millions of reviews to help you
plan and book your perfect trip
Hi Ann Chin
Level 24 reviews 3,083 total points
You have 12,192 readers. Impressive!
Did you realise how many travellers you've guided with your good advice? Keep going… even reviewing places near home can be a big help to people planning a visit to your town.
In Playgroup Book, Ann says she does different kind of writing. She is a travel writing, and writes for tripadvisor.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Agave attenuata : flower that bends

Agave attenuata is a species of agave sometimes known as the "lion's tail," "swan's neck," or "foxtail" for its development of a curved stem, unusual among agaves. Native to the plateau of the State of Jalisco in central Mexico, as one of the unarmed agaves, it is popular as an ornamental plant in gardens in many other places. It is reportedly naturalized in Madeira and Libya

Friday Floral:Valerian 

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis, Caprifoliaceae) is a perennial flowering plant, with heads of sweetly scented pink or white flowers that bloom in the summer

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Hannah and SPCA

While I was having lunch today, Hannah and her daughters were at Sandringham collecting for SPCA, Olivia, a character in Ann the Playgroup loved animals and volunteered at At SPCA. Here is Hannah and her dog, Marlo.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

My latest book: The Playgroup

The Playgroup, paper back. ISBN 978-0-473-37871-4
Available at: Wheelers Books or from me,
eBook: Kindle Amazon ASIN: B01N0AWTOL

This book talks of a hotchpotch SAHM (Stay At Home Mums) jelled by a common denominator, the Playgroup. This book will resonate in women who went to Playgroup with their children or grandchildren. This hotchpotch include mothers of nuclear families, single families, bereaved parents, widowed, widowers, cancer survivors, volunteers, and so on. Issues like death, bereavement, cancer, adoption, fostering, and remarriage are sensitively discussed.